A TEENAGER accused of murder was his usual “bubbly and chatty” self in his last lesson of the day before stabbing another boy through the heart on the way back from school, a court has heard.

Alfie Lewis, 15, was stabbed to death “in full view” of pupils leaving a primary school in the Horsforth area of Leeds last November.

A 15-year-old boy who has gone on trial over the attack denies murder, claiming he was acting in self-defence.

Ilkley Gazette: Floral tributes were laid for Alfie Lewis in Horsforth after his deathFloral tributes were laid for Alfie Lewis in Horsforth after his death (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

On Tuesday, a Leeds Crown Court jury heard a statement from one of the defendant’s teachers, who said his behaviour was “nothing out of the ordinary” during the last lesson of the day on November 7.

They said: “He was both bubbly and chatty. He was just his normal self.”

The court heard the defendant “left the classroom quickly” when the lesson finished, but that “so did most of the other students, as is normal”.

The teacher added: “I can say with absolute certainty there was nothing at all in his behaviour during the lesson that gave me any cause for concern.

“He gave me no indication of what his intentions were.”

Ilkley Gazette: Quiet area in memory of Alfie Lewis at St Margaret’s Church last NovemberQuiet area in memory of Alfie Lewis at St Margaret’s Church last November (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

There was also evidence heard in the court from the defendant's friend, who was walking back from school with him on the day of Alfie’s death.

The witness said there had been nothing unusual about the defendant that day, and he had not mentioned Alfie, or being worried about anything.

He told jurors that as the two of them were walking, they saw Alfie on his own near a crossing close to a primary school.

The friend said: “Normally we just cut through in front of the gate to the primary school but whilst we were walking (the defendant) just cut off me to go to Alfie’s direction.

“I was just really confused why he just left me, so I just carried on walking.”

The witness added the defendant looked “more concentrated” after seeing Alfie.

He told the court that as he was walking away, he heard Alfie shout: “Chill out.”

The witness said: “I turned round and saw (the defendant) holding a knife and attacking Alfie.”

Alfie was walking backwards at the time, the court heard.

The defendant's friend added: “After (the defendant) stabbed Alfie, he just ran off.”

Ilkley Gazette: Tributes to Alfie LewisTributes to Alfie Lewis (Image: Telegraph & Argus)

Being questioned by Nicholas Lumley KC, defending, the witness agreed he “must have missed the start of whatever happened” as he had his back to Alfie and the defendant.

He said he had never seen the knife before and did not know where it had been before it was in the defendant’s hand.

A girl who saw the incident described seeing a boy “standing innocently” and being approached by another boy.

In a pre-recorded interview played in court, she said: “I don’t know what he was doing but he was standing there, he wasn’t doing anything and the other guy came up to him.

“They started pushing each other. The one in the grey outfit fell on the floor and he was screaming. He was saying ‘chill out’. He fell on his back with his knees upwards.”

The girl said she could only see the other boy, who was wearing a school uniform, from behind but saw him flicking his knife around three times.

“You could tell it was a knife because it was really sharp,” she said.

The witness said the boy in grey “had his hands up” and appeared to be trying to push the other boy back.

She added: “I was really scared at that point. I didn’t see every detail.

“I was just thinking ‘call the police or something’. I was too scared to do anything.”

A woman who was walking to do the school run said she saw the two boys “fighting in some way”, and witnessed one “stab (Alfie) in the chest”.

She told the court: “I’m not sure what the altercation was. However, Alfie didn’t do anything to him personally to start a fight with him. Alfie seemed like the innocent party, he hadn’t raised a fist to him.”

Asked by Mr Lumley if Alfie had kicked the defendant, she said: “Alfie didn’t fight back. He was scared for his life and you could tell.”

Jurors have heard about two previous incidents involving Alfie and the defendant.

Prosecutor Craig Hassall KC said one was in July 2023 when Alfie intervened in a fight involving the defendant, and the second happened on Halloween, when Alfie claimed the defendant threw a firework at him.

Mr Hassall told jurors Alfie had been walking down the street to meet friends at the end of the school day when the defendant, who was 14 at the time, attacked him with a 13cm long kitchen knife he had brought from his home.

He said witnesses recalled Alfie looking “surprised and shocked” and saying to the defendant: “What are you doing?” as the incident unfolded close to St Margaret’s Primary School, in Town Street, Horsforth, just before 3pm on November 7, 2023.

The prosecutor said a post-mortem examination revealed the fatal stab injury was a 14cm deep wound to Alfie’s chest which punctured his heart.

He added: “As we understand it, (the defendant) will accept that Alfie was killed by the knife from his kitchen drawer at home, but will say that, at all times, he was acting in self-defence.”

The trial continues. 

Alfie's death sent shockwaves through the Horsforth community.

In the hours following Alfie's death, a sea of floral tributes and candles began to appear at a bench on the green by Broadgate Lane.

The nickname 'Alf' was spelled out with tea lights while a toy monkey and childhood photo were left by loved ones.

The tragedy left an entire community united in shock and grief.

Reverend Nigel Sinclair, team rector at St Margaret's Church, attended a community vigil held for Alfie after his death.

"The whole community is so touched by Alfie's death," Rev Sinclair said at the time.